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DBWS02 - North Spitsbergen aboard s/v Rembrandt van Rijn

The sailing expeditions in Spitsbergen will be carried out by the three-mast sailing vessel Rembrandt van Rijn. This beautiful vessel will bring you to the remotest places around Spitsbergen. Sailing northwards we visit Magdalenafjord, one of the most beautiful places on Spitsbergen, with many impressive glacier faces. During a shore visit we will view the remains of 17th century English whaling activities. We can also visit some big seabird colonies particularly noteworthy for their Little Auk.

Deckplan

Click here to view deck plan for the Rembrandt Van Rijn

Inclusions

All internal ground transport
  • Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary.
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • Transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotels and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to and from Longyearbyen.
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
  • AECO fees and governmental taxes.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.
Tour Provider 50 Degrees North
Number of Days
11
Price From
AUD $6,724
Start Location
Longyearbyen, Svalbard
End Location
Longyearbyen, Svalbard
Age Range
Avg. 55+
Group Size
34
Tour Style
Comfort
Tour Themes
Small Marine/Cruise
Physical Rating
Easy
Incudes Flights
Yes
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
27 Jul 201906 Aug 2019Limited availabilityAUD $6,724
18 Jun 202028 Jun 2020Limited availabilityAUD $6,983
ItineraryExpand
Day 1 - We will embark our vessel in Longyearbyen, in the late afternoon

You touch down in Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago. Enjoy strolling around this former mining town, whose parish church and Svalbard Museum make for fascinating attractions. Though the countryside appears stark, more than a hundred species of plant have been recorded in it. In the early evening the ship sails out of Isfjorden, where you might spot the first minke whale of your voyage. In the evening you sail for Trygghamna, where you see the remains of a 17th-century English whaling station and 18th-century Pomor hunting station, both of which you can visit the next morning.

Day 2 - We will go ashore near the majestic bird cliff of Alkhornet

From Trygghamna you walk to Alkhornet, a large seabird cliff where the birds are scouting out breeding places. Below the cliffs is a common place to spot Arctic foxes, and you may also see reindeer grazing on the lush vegetation if there’s not too much snow.

Day 3 - We will go ashore at Fuglehuken

You sail into Fuglefjorden amid views of Svitjodbreen and Birgerbukta, both breeding areas for great skuas as well as likely spots to see a polar bear. On Birgerbukta you can see 17th-century Basque ovens once used for cooking whale blubber. The aim next is to visit Ytre Norskøya, a small island that served for many years as a Dutch whaling lookout. Here you can still follow the whalers’ tracks to the summit of the island, passing popular bird cliffs on the way. On shore are the remains of more 17th-century blubber ovens, while Arctic skuas and common eiders breed among the graves of some two hundred Dutch whalers.

Day 4 - Glaciers and Ermaktangen geology

Raudfjorden, on the north coast of Spitsbergen, is a fine place for gazing over the glaciers. It’s also a favorite hangout for ringed and bearded seals, colonies of seabird, and the occasional polar bear and beluga whale. Ermaktangen, at the fjordh coast of Spitsbergen, is a fine place for gazing over the glof the land.

Day 5 - Wide open tundra

If ice conditions permit, you may land on the northern side of Reindyrsflya, the largest tundra area of Spitsbergen. This vast and rolling plain is a popular grazing area for reindeer, and several species of waders also breed here. Similarly, the lakes afford you a good chance of spotting red-throated divers and king eiders.

Day 6 - The massive Monaco Glacier

Depending on the weather, you could sail into Liefdefjorden and cruise within sight of the 5-kilometer-long (3.1 miles) face of the precipitous Monaco Glacier. The waters in front of this glacier are a favorite feeding spot for thousands of kittiwakes, and the base of the ice is a popular polar bear hunting ground. If ice conditions prevent sailing here early in the season, an alternate route along the west coast of Spitsbergen can be implemented.

Day 7 - On to the little auks

In the morning you land at Fuglesangen, where you can observe spirited communities of little auks. You then sail south to Magdalenafjorden, one of the glacier-filled highlights of Spitsbergen. A shore visit shows you the remains of 17th-century English whaling, and you can also see more large colonies of little auks.

Day 8 - Earth’s northernmost community

You head north for Kongsfjorden and Krossfjorden. The landscape is likely to show signs of winter, the crags and slopes still blanketed with snow. We aim to visit places of historic interest: Ny London, where you can see the remains of early 20th-century marble mining, and Ny Ålesund, the northernmost community in the world. There are also research stations and the famous anchor mast of the dirigible Norge, which took the first flight across the North Pole to Nome, Alaska in 1926. Krossfjorden offers views of colossal glaciers and lofty mountain peaks, but ultimately the extent of fjord ice dictates the itinerary here.

Day 9 - The past days of polar bear hunting

On your journey south, the goal is a landing at Fuglehuken. Here you see remains from the great era of polar bear hunting. There are also large seabird colonies and a haul-out spot for harbour seals. Alternatively you could land on the coast of Forlandsundet, at Engelskbukta or Sarstangen. Walruses are occasionally seen here, and the tundra is a fine place for a walk.

Day 10 - Wide tundra, towering mountains

The next stop is Bohemanflya, an expansive tundra with its own avifauna (depending on when spring arrives) and spectacular geological formations along the coast. In Gipsvika you can go on shore near Templet, a mountainous location of eroded sedimentary rock from the Upper Carboniferous period – around 290 million years ago.

Day 11 - Our final morning, we will disembark the ship in the morning in Longyearbyen

Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. You disembark in Longyearbyen, taking home memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.